Monday, January 31, 2011

Zombie Evolution

  As this blog has progressed, it's evolved into several things for me.  It is cathartic, therapeutic, meditative, liberating and thought-provoking for me.  I gain insight as I write down my feelings based on my observations of movies, television shows, songs, books and life around me.  This blog has become my way of sharing with the world my deepest inner struggles, triumphs and failures.  It's a diary, a confessional, a journal, a couch and even a playground sometimes.  You have become my friends, my confidantes, my gurus, my priests, my shoulder to lean on and my companions on this journey of self-creation, self-recovery, self-invention, self-discovery and self-examination.  Of course, I also wish to help you, my readers to see things that perhaps you've never seen before.  To think of things, perhaps in a new way.  To understand things from a fresh perspective and perhaps even find yourself through some self-discovery of your own.
  My childhood was filled with trying to feel worthy of love.  To my mother, I was a trophy to show off to her friends.  It didn't matter if what she told them about me was true or not.  It mattered that it made her feel better about herself that I seemed to be better than her friends' children.  She even told her friends that I attended Harvard because she was too ashamed to admit to them that I only went to the University of Arizona.  To my father, I was a pawn to help him feel like a better parent than my mother.  I always knew what I was worth to them.  What I didn't know was what I was worth to myself.
  I never would consciously stand up for myself against anyone who would put me down or in any way try to harm me.  Instead, I developed an ego.  This ego tried to help me feel good about myself any way I could.  I would do good things for people, but not for their sake.  It was so I could feel better about myself.  All they were worth to me was what I could get from them.  It was me against the world.  Take as much as I can while giving up as little as possible was my goal.  I have difficulty finding many things in life I did for purely selfless motives.  I could count them on one hand.  Do you know how much it hurts/frustrates/scares/saddens me to find that out about myself?  It cheapens/darkens/uglifies almost everything I've ever done in my entire life.  That includes this blog.
  What I've come to understand is that I can still do a lot of the things I love to do, I just have to check my motives.  Am I doing this to feel better about myself or to selflessly benefit someone else?  I can still go to work and support my family, sing at karaoke, write music, write novels, blog, walk the dog and take the trash out.  I think a lot of my anger will fade once the empty meaninglessness of my ego's motives give way to love, respect and genuine compassion for my fellow human beings and all of God's creation.  A lot of my anger came out toward Kayla because my ego was threatened by her insight.  I hated myself for being so selfish and secretly not wanting to change.  Who knows, maybe even now I don't really want to change.  Only I hold the key to the answer to that.  I am the one creating this life.  If it's a life full of anger taken out on my wife, that's my fault.  If it's a life full of loving people, starting with myself, that will be my choice.  No one can make me be bad or good.  It's just a second to second choice I make.

I Am Mine

  Me with my ungulate's dexterity trying to work the paper shredding machine is kinda humorous.  By the way, the title of this blog is also the title of a Pearl Jam song, as you may know.
  Last night my wife and I had a discussion about my obsession with blogging.  I realized that this dates back to my childhood.  I've always wanted to be a writer/singer/lots of other things.  My parents always told me I had to be something like a doctor, lawyer, etc. if I wanted financial security in my life.  They really loved it when I joined the Navy.  They told me I'd never be able to support myself, much less a family as a rock star or author.  It became my life's ambition to prove them wrong.  That's why I taught myself how to scream at karaoke.  My whole life has been one of defiance and rebellion against people who no longer have any say in what I do.  I'm almost 35 and I'm still living this empty existence.
  Last night's discussion happened after Kayla and I watched the final episode of Quantum Leap on Netflix.  The bartender, Al, tried to get Sam to understand that Sam himself has been the one in control of his leaps.  he creates his own destiny.  Sam refused to believe him and insisted that it's God, Al the bartender or some unknown force that has been leaping him around in time.  Sam would only return home when he accepted responsibility for his own destiny.  The episode ended by saying that Sam never returned home.  He left behind a wife, a life and many people who care about him.
  The Princess Bride had a character whose whole life was based on finding the man who killed his father and taking vengeance by killing him.  Once he killed him, he found that he had no idea what to do with his life.  His life was always empty of meaning, but it was full of anger.  Once his anger was played out, he finally felt that emptiness that had always been there.
  I don't want to end up like that.  I should be happy that I have a wife and family who love me.  I should be happy that I can sing/scream and write songs and stories.  I shouldn't need fame, recognition or acceptance from anyone outside of myself.  I mean, let's say that I do become famous, then what?  What, should I go up to my parents and say, "Hello, my name is Inego Montoya.  You snuffed my fire.  Prepare to watch me support my family with rock star riches."  That's stupid and meaningless.  I am not going to live my life for my parents anymore.  I'm going to live my life for myself and my family.  I'm glad to have you as readers.  Believe me I'm grateful and appreciative, but I'm not doing this for you anymore either.  I'm in charge of my own destiny.  I will stop leaping from blog to karaoke bar to Facebook trying to satisfy my obsession with achieving fame.  I'm going to return home where I have a wife, a life and many people who care about me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Il Mare

  Years ago I hopped on a plane to visit my parents in Korea.  One of the in-flight movies was a little Korean production called Il Mare (The Sea).  I fell in love with that movie and its soundtrack.  Back then stuff was mostly still on VHS and audio cassette (ask your grandpa what those are).  Anyway, I bought both while I was in Korea.  There's a song on there called 'Must Say Goodbye'.  Awesome tune!  That movie is honestly one of my favorites of all time.
  Anyway, flash forward several years.  A movie called The Lake House comes out with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.  It purported to be a remake of Il Mare.  I was so excited to see it!  Boy was I disappointed to stand witness to that watered down drivel.  If my frown became any more pronounced, a leprechaun might have put a pot of gold under it.
  Flash forward again to just recently.  I did a search for Il Mare on Netflix and lo and behold they had it!  The clouds opened up and little cherubs descended playing tiny harps.  If my smile was any more pronounced, a dyslexic leprechaun. . . Anyway, if you want to see the inspiration for The Lake House, I highly recommend the Korean original.  Please, tell me what you think!

Third Eye Not Blind

  When I was a kid, I used to spend time before I fell asleep, while I had my eyes closed, focusing on what looked to me like an eye in the darkness.  It's kind of a football shaped, yellow image with a hole in the middle.  Usually the hole was black, but sometimes it was blue.  Once, as I was concentrating on the blue hole, the yellow eye started to grow and fill my entire field of vision.  The blue hole got bigger and I could see a city in the distance.  I entered the the world beyond the eye.  I don't remember anything about the city.  Over the years I tried and tried to go back through the eye, but never was able to.
  Now that I'm more spiritually mature, I have come to the belief that I was meditating without knowing it.  I was focusing on my third eye chakra.  I think the third eye is instrumental in giving you "second sight" or the "sixth sense".  When I was a kid, I suddenly got the idea that I should pick up a deck of cards.  I did.  Then I knew I'd be able to randomly cut the deck and tell which card I'd see if I closed my eyes and focused on it.  I closed my eyes and visualized the deck.  At first I couldn't see any specific card.  In my impatience I thought of a randomly chosen card.  I saw it in my mind and was about to cut the deck, but I paused.  In my mind, a different card magically rose out of the deck.  I looked at the card, but stubbornly wanted to believe I had already thought of the card I'd cut to.  I cut the deck, opened my eyes and looked, expecting to see my card.  Of course, it was the second card that was sitting right there in my hand.  Try as I might, I've never been able to do that again.
  In college, there was an occasion when I was playing paper rock scissors with a friend of mine.  I knew each time what sign she would choose so I chose it too.  About 10 to 12 rounds later, we had tied every time.  Just to test myself and prove that it wasn't just coincidence, I deliberately chose to show a different sign than what I knew she was gonna show.  I showed a rock because I knew she was gonna show scissors.  Sure enough, I won that round.
  All my life, I've been able to close my eyes and see my hands in front of my face.  I could move my hands around, make different gestures, and see it all.  Kayla says that if I wanted to, I could do much more than that.  That's always just been a fun little exercise to do when I'm bored, but she says she's been able to remote view and see into other rooms and stuff.  She can tell me what I'm doing in the kitchen while she's sitting in the living room.  I'm not that good yet.
  There is a fun exercise that she and I do together.  One of us will lie down with our eyes closed.  The other will hold a hand about six inches to a foot above their body.  The person lying down then tells the other person where they feel the hand is near.  We tried that when we first met.  It took me a while to get into the groove, but eventually, I could actually feel her hand above me.  It felt like electricity or energy.  It tingled.  I could even identify when she wasn't keeping her hand stationary.  I told her she was moving it up and down along my torso.  She laughed because she was testing me and I passed!  Last night we did it again and I only got three out of four right.  The only one I missed was when her hand was over my head.  She said that it felt cooler over my head than anywhere else over my body.  That would seem to indicate that my third eye chakra was unbalanced.  So I took some time to balance it.  Hopefully now, I'll be more in tune with the world around me.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jokes and Cheese

  A friend of mine told me this joke at work:  There was an old man who lived in the country.  One day he was sitting on his porch when a young boy walked by holding some chicken wire.  "Boy, where you going with that there chicken wire?" he asked.
  "I'm going to catch me some chickens!" replied the boy.
  The old man scrunched up his face and pointed his finger in the air.  "Everybody knows you can't catch no damn chickens with no damn chicken wire!"
  The boy continues on his way undeterred.  Hours later, the boy comes back down the country road holding two chickens in each hand.  "Hot damn, boy!" the old man exclaimed as the boy continued on his way home.
  The next day, the old man was sitting on his porch when the young boy walked by holding some duct tape.
"Boy, where you going with that there duc' tape?"
  "I'm going to catch me some ducks!"
  The old man's eyebrows went up and he slapped his knee.  "Everybody knows you can't catch no damn ducks with no damn duc' tape!"
  The boy continued on his way undeterred.  Hours later, the boy came back down the country road holding two ducks in each hand.  "What in Sam Hill?" the old man hollered as the boy went on down the road.
  The next day, the old man was sitting on his porch when the young boy walked by again.  "Boy, what you got there now?"
  The boy replied, "pussy willow."
  The old man jumped up from his rocking chair and headed for his front door and then turned back to address the young boy.  "Hold on, son, let me grab my hat."

  When I was younger, my little sister used to try to tell me knock knock jokes.  But whenever she would say, "Knock knock."  I'd just come back with, "Come in."  That frustrated her to no end.  Boy I was a mean older brother.
  Oh, by the way, I found this good new cheese called Blue Marble Jack by Nasonville Dairy.  It's a semi-soft cheese that you can slice like Monterrey Jack, but it has these blue ribbons of delicious cheesiness laced throughout.  You can definitely taste both blue cheese and Jack.  According to the label, it's a Wisconsin original.  It's great on it's own, but I've also used it in a homemade French Onion soup.  I'd like to shred it on some spaghetti some time.  That sounds yummy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Same Old Song

  I just uploaded the song Scar Chasm by my old band, Shadow Puppets on our MySpace page.  You can find the lyrics to it on the Zombie Killer Genesis blog.  I still plan on making a video for it, but haven't gotten around to it yet.  Been busy.  I just put out chapter 10 of the Nocent.  Hope you enjoy it.  So far, readers have voted unanimously for me to start putting out a chapter on Mondays too.  So let it be written, so let it be done.  Your wand is my commish.  Oh, I am now down to fewer than 100 days left in the Navy!  Double digits, baby!  I just got some new friends on Facebook.  Most of them are old high school friends.  If you're reading this, hello!

Thought and Communication

  Last night, I made an error in judgment concerning disciplining our dog.  This sparked a conversation with Kayla about my understanding of various situations in life.  She said that I'm often lost and confused about how to deal with things.  She said that sometimes it feels more like I'm just looking for rules or orders instead of putting original thought into new and fresh situations.
  I became upset and said that if someone can't read her mind, it must mean that they're lost and confused.  Once I thought about it though, I realized what she really meant.  The way I was disciplining the dog was the way I thought she wanted.  I had no opinion of my own on the subject.  Why?  He's my responsibility too.  She didn't want me to just enforce her 'rules'.  So it wasn't that she wanted me to just agree with her.  She had put thought into the situation.  She took into account what the dog had done and figured out an appropriate punishment for him.
  If I had observed the situation with a complete awareness of all the variables and options, I could have come up with my own opinion of a proper course of action.  If at that point, I communicated with her about my thoughts, we could have discussed which way would better get across to the dog our expectations and our disappointment in him.  I lacked both the thought and the communication.  I think that true wisdom comes from loving observation.  Rules and orders take away the need for love and observation.  I would like to be the kind of husband, father, friend and person who loves and cares enough to think and communicate in a way that is fair to all parties involved.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


  I was just reading Kayla's blog, Evolution and I love what she said about our perceptions of the physical world.  I mean, how come if a soda sits out for an hour it becomes 'hot' and when dinner sits out for an hour it becomes 'cold' when we use sophisticated machinery like heaters, coolers and thermostats to make sure that a room is neither too hot nor too cold?  It's like Goldilocks and the three bears were the judges of three different things that are really all the same temperature.  This soda is too hot.  This food is too cold.  This room temperature is just right.
  Speaking of picky fairy tale damsels, you know the Princess and the Pea?  I sure hope that pea didn't develop an eating disorder after that bitch called him fat!  I should start a support group for foods with mental issues.  I want that pea to know that he's loved and should accept himself just as God made him.  The poor Japanese ham sammiches can have a safe place to share their feelings about that mean old Zombie Killer and his mordant denigrations.
  I'm apparently good at rearranging supply closets.  The staff in the mail room had me rearrange their supply closet and really liked what I did so then I was recommended to rearrange the supply closet for the payroll office.  File cabinets, shelves, shredder, copier and a bunch of loose random shit was what I had to juggle around trying to make it all fit in a room where you'd wet all four walls with a good sneeze.  I'm plumb tuckered out.  My boots smell like a cheese even the French wouldn't eat, but that damn room is beautiful if I must say so myself!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


  There's a sailor named Branch.  I told him if he ever opened a hospital for belly buttons he could call it the Branch Navel Health Clinic.  He didn't think it was very funny.  Speaking of branch, why do so many names for groups of people sound like a piece of wood?  You've got a branch, a board, a club, a panel.  Are people so boring that when they congregate, you think of trees?  Unisom, take me away!
  My daily caloric intake is gastronomical!  Here in the office, everybody has their little jar full of chocolates, candy canes, peanut butter cups, hard candies, peppermint patties and such.  I'm one grazing mofo.  Throughout my life, I've had several times when I gained anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds.  First time was when I worked at a sammich shop called Eric's Ice Cream.  All them little slices of cheese, cold cuts, pickles, olives, lettuce, tomatoes and ice cream gained me 22 pounds in one summer.  Of that, I lost 16 when I stopped working there.
  I worked as a dishwasher at Carrow's restaurant.  I gained 16 pounds eating order mistakes and free ice cream.  If someone's steak was over cooked, I 86ed it with a fork.  If someone hadn't asked for peanuts on their sundae, I 86ed it with a spoon.  86 was my favorite number!  When I stopped working there, I lost 12 pounds.  Damn my fast metabolism.
  When I delivered pizza, I was always making little pizza creations for myself.  I think again I gained 16 pounds.  I gained 22 pounds at Boot Camp.  I gained another 10 working with the cooks at the galley for two and a half months.  I have no problem gaining weight.  The problem is I lose it all within weeks of returning to a regular diet.
  Once a dentist asked me to keep a food diary for a week.  He gave me a blank chart and told me to fill it in every time I ate something during a 24 hour period.  Boy, it was almost comedic, the amount of writing I had to do.  The dentist was so surprised that my teeth are so healthy!
  Ever since I turned 30 years old, my metabolism has slowed a little.  I now hover between the 145-155 range.  For me that's high.  I guess I'm just small-boned.  I'm horizontally challenged.  They ought to make a minus size store for skinny people and short people.  We already have plus size stores all over the place, but what about us skinny folk?  Oh yeah, and why is a slim chance the same as a fat chance?  What's the skinny on that little oxy-moronic colloquialism?

Monday, Monday

  I was thinking about the name Pinocchio.  I wonder if it's related to the word occipital, like the part of the skull.  So it would mean something along the lines of 'pine skull'.  Makes sense since he's a puppet whose head is probably carved in wood.  I'm thinking the word occipital itself is related to the word caput which means head.  More of that sort of shit that keeps me up nights.
  What I wanted to write to you about was this whole Book Mooch website.  Just for fun I put up my own book, the Nocent as available for anyone who would want me to send it to them.  To my surprise, someone did!  I'll be giving someone my book.  Kayla brought it to my attention that if one person wants it, there might be more people out there who would want it.
  I've been contemplating putting out a new chapter of the Nocent on Mondays as well.  If I did, my calculations put it at around June 24 that the whole book would be out in its entirety.  That's a lot sooner than November or December!  Then all I have to do is use the Blog2Print feature on this website to publish paper copies of the novel.  Please give me some feedback on this.  You've got friends at Loh's place.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mooches Gracias

  Rachel Ray today talked about a website called  On there, you can put up your old books to send to people who want to read them in exchange for getting books from other Moochers.  I signed up for it and already I've got several people who want books I've got.  Of all the different genres of book I have available, they snatched up all my zombie books.  One person from Denmark wants three of my zombie books.  I do have readers in Denmark.  Coincidence?  Anyway, I think this is an excellent website so I hope you'll check it out if you like reading.  I'll put a link to it on here for you.  By the way, that potato recipe that Kayla cooks is from Rachel Ray too.

Potato I Have

  Life on a submarine has its ups and downs.  Always listening to dolphins, whales, shrimp, fish, storms, wind and the occasional unexplained electro-magnetic activity.  I do enjoy the sounds of whales.  Sometimes when you're in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, your equipment goes all screwy.  It's cool, though, when the cooks fry up some bologna for breakfast.  They also have those hash browns.  You add some hot sauce and pepper and it's excellent!  As long as I have potatoes, any meal can be a good meal.
  There's always movies or video games going on in the crew's lounge.  Lot's of times there will be a movie going on in the galley as well.  There's also the ship's library where you can read whatever they have on board.  It's mostly stuff people donated.  It's not as voluminous as a prison library.  I remember in the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King, the prison library was quite big!  It has its prose and cons.

Superb Owl

  My wife and I don't watch sports, but I was just looking around my office at all the flyers for Superbowl XLV.  It struck me as humorous that in five years they'll be having Superbowl L.  Most people are used to the Roman numerals X, V, I and M, but L and C aren't as well known.  Ask anyone on the street what they stand for and you'll see some funny facial expressions!  How is the NFL gonna make a damn L look cool and recognizable as a Roman numeral?
  You ever notice that there are different actions you take to prepare the different meals of the day?  In general, you fix breakfast, make lunch and cook dinner.  Speaking of cooking, Kayla cooks an excellent potato dish.  She puts some oil in a pan, then puts in some cut-up onions.  She cooks those for a few minutes then throws in thinly sliced new potatoes.  She peppers and salts it to taste.  The last thing she throws in is some fresh baby spinach.  Stir that around until the spinach wilts.  Serve it up while it's nice and hot!  I tell you, if America went through a potato famine, me and mine are up and moving to Ireland.  Kayla's such a good cook!  I love that woman.

Monday, January 24, 2011


  I can shred cheese and I can shred paper.  Why oh why can't I shred on the guitar?  With all this shredding, my rotator cuff doesn't want to rotate anymore.  Workman's comp!  Punitive (not putative) damages!  I get all this fine powderized paper on my hands (and no, FBI, it's not anthrax!).
  If you've been reading my blogs today, you've seen that I've got food on my mind.  Did you know that America is one of the only countries in the world who doesn't consider insects to be a food item?  Most cultures in the world have some bugs in their diet.
  At an Entomology (not to be confused with etymology) fair I attended once at the University of Arizona, they had several delicacies available to sample that had bugs as an ingredient.  I had meal worms, bees, beetle larvae, grasshoppers, crickets and ants to eat that night.  At a buffet line in Korea, there were grasshoppers and crickets available.  Also in Korea, silk worms are sold on street corners by vendors.  They are also available canned at grocery stores.
  Once, Cold Stone Creamery had a promotion where if you ate an ice cream cone that had a cricket in it, you'd get a gift certificate for a free ice cream dish.  I had so many gift certificates by the time the promotion ended!  When I worked at Petsmart, some people were daring each other to eat some of the meal worms or crickets that are intended as lizard food.  I think I won like $20 that day.  Meal worms taste a bit like silk worms, just to give you an idea.
  When I was trying to be a vegetarian the summer after I graduated from high school, I read a magazine full of vegetarian recipes.  It was from there that I found out that there are many species of edible flowers.  The only one I actually had easy access to was squash flowers.  If you pick the flower and rinse it off in the sink, you can make sure there are no bugs in it (unless you want bugs in it).  Then you steam them and baste them in a little melted butter.  They're so tender and juicy that way!  Yummy yummy yummy.


  I love food.  My wife says I have very expensive taste.  The monetary value of the the things I like to eat are sometimes cost prohibiting.  That's why I try to make due with what I can get my hands on.  I like trying to cook for myself.  Instead of going out to a Mexican restaurant for some menudo, I buy a can of Juanita's.  I cut up some cilantro and onion, put it into a pot with some water and boil it for about 10 minutes.  Add some lime juice and pepper if desired.  Then I open the can of soup and put it into the pot.  Let that heat up for an additional 10 minutes and viola!  A menudo fit for a Chinese/Korean zombie novelist.
  I love German food, Filipino, Ethiopian, Spanish, Thai, Mediterranean, Indian, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American, Italian and French food.  I also love Cajun and soul food.  I'd say I love Japanese ham sammiches, but I think that's a lost cause.  Most of these foods I had first at restaurants around Tucson, Arizona.  You don't have to be a world traveller these days to open your eyes to the varieties of tastes out there.  Did you know that the most popular way of eating food in the world is with your fingers?  Second most popular is chopsticks.  Fork and spoon only comes in third place.  Do shish kabobs count as finger food or are they in a category all their own?  I wonder where bobbing for apples ranks.

Pastry Deities

  Why is the Virgin Mary always showing up on tortillas?  That's great for reaching out to the lost of the world who eat tortillas.  I know occasionally Jesus shows up on taco shells and tortillas too.  So those of Latino or Hispanic origins are covered.  Over in the Mediterranean area, what about showing up on some pitas?  Or if you want to catch people while they're young, show up on some zwieback.  Mary could make a killing appearing on ham sammiches, unless, of course, she wants to reach Japan (by now I've probably lost the entire Japanese ham sammich demographic).
  What if the other deities got in on the pastry circuit?  You could have Vishnu on a marble rye.  I'd love to see the Buddha on a bagel or something.  Mohammad, Siva, Eck and Azna could all get in on the action.  Now there's the little potential problem of recognizability.  I mean, I wouldn't know Hermes from Adam.  Zeus yeah, everybody knows Zeus, but what about Poseidon?  If I saw him on a tater chip, I'd probably just dip him in some ranch and munch away.  Maybe that is what's going on all over the world.  People are eating up all the gods.  Oh yeah, what about those poor lost souls on the Adkin's diet?  Are there any diet deities?  A flatbread sammich would make a nice backdrop for the Unmoved Mover.  I sure could go for some proselytizing pastrami right now.
  On a side note, it occurs to me as hilariously humorous that in the French version of the Bible when Jesus was on the mountainside and fed 5,000 people with a couple loaves of bread and a few fish, it translates into pain (bread) and poisson (fish).  Sounds like he pulled a Jim Jones on them.  At least he didn't turn the water into Kool-Aid.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


  I don't know if I ever told you how I got into zombies in the first place.  Well, when I was in the 2nd grade, a music video came out on MTV called, Thriller by Michael Jackson.  I was so enamored by the zombies, it stuck with me throughout my youth.  I didn't know there were movies, books and songs about them.  They were just something from a Michael Jackson video to me.  I think the first zombie movie I ever saw was Dawn of the Dead.  From there, I was hooked!  They were more than just decomposing thespians, they were flesh-eating menaces to society.  I can dig it.
  Over the years, I've seen some clunkers of zombie movies.  If you're a zombie fan, I'm sure you have too.  Zombie Nightmare, anyone?  Seemed like for a while, people were just trying to come up with any reason to have people become zombies or at least, zombie-like.  Even the first Naked Gun movie had one.  There was The Stuff, which actually not that horrible of a movie.  In my opinion, George Romero was one of the only people using a zombie apocalypse as the background for tales about people.  The characters were not just cardboard cutout victims, they were the crux of the story.
  Being always fascinated by people and life, that is what pulled me in.  I've always studied the people around me to see what makes them tick.  Everyone has their own ways of looking at life, dealing with stress, interacting with other people, communicating with God (or not) and having fun.  I think that's also why I loved Star Wars so much.  It wasn't just laser guns and robots.  There was a very human story at its heart which touched on faith, love, betrayal and redemption.
  On a side note, my first album ever was Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' on cassette.  That same day I also bought 'She's So Unusual' by Cindi Lauper.  My musical tastes have evolved much since then, there are still some excellent songs on both of those albums in my opinion. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011


  I've got some Bible passages I've found that in my mind, talk about aliens:
-Mark 13:27 "And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens."
-Matthew 24:31 "And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."
-John 10:16 "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."
  In my stories, I have all kinds of aliens.  In one, I talk about USOs (unidentified submerged objects) as being in our oceans for malicious purposes.  I've read that water is a good conductor for spirits.  In my story, the USOs are harvesting spirits from the ocean to put into a massive clone army in order to attack Earth.  The clones develop without souls so they are just bodies.  With the spirits harvested from the ocean, they can be brought to life.
  When I was about ten years old, my sister and I saw a group of maybe five or six lights in the night sky in Texas.  They came together, converged, then flew away as one.  We think it was a fleet of UFOs.  When I told that story to my English class in high school, my English teacher asked me, "Your sister, was she younger than you at the time?"  I replied, "Yeah, she still is."
  One night in Arizona, I was just gazing into the night sky.  I saw what seemed to be a flaming serpent swimming in the sky.  I looked it up online and sure enough, that's a documented phenomenon.  Many people claim to have seen flaming space snakes.  The website I was on even had an artist's rendition which depicted almost exactly what I saw.
  This isn't exactly on topic, but I've also seen daytime shooting stars twice in my life.  Once was in Korea when I was in the third grade.  The other time was in my college years in Arizona.  The difference between them and the nighttime variety is that during the day, they appear orange in color.  There's still a smoke trail, but it's gray during the day as opposed to white at night.  Not quite aliens, but fascinating nonetheless!
  By the way, hello, Canada!  Thank you for reading.  Hope you like what you see and continue to read my posts.  Please check out my other blogs, as well as my wife's blog!  I just published chapter 9 of the Nocent.  Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


  I've had quite an extensive history with animals.  It started when I was in the second grade.  Oddly enough, it was because I saw Mary Poppins.  There was a scene where she opens a window and a bird comes to her finger.  It amazed me because I didn't know it was fake.  I wanted to have that kind of connection with animals because they had always fascinated me.
  I always had a way with dogs.  When I was in the faux painting company, I was the designated dog handler.  We'd go into a house.  I'd gain the dog's trust, then lead it into the back yard, master bedroom ,bathroom, laundry room or wherever seemed the most humane depending on the house.
  When I was twelve, I found that I could gain the trust of birds and mice too.  I could make them come to me or at least not run away.  I've pet ducks, sparrows, geese, doves and those little brown birds.  The coolest, though was one day I was visiting my grandfather's grave.  I saw a hummingbird in the dirt.  I approached it and it looked at me.  I slowly reached out and pet it.  I thought that maybe its wings were injured or something.  Not two seconds after I stopped petting it and walked away, it flew away into a nearby tree.
  I've pet goats, cows, sheep, ostriches, horses, lizards, snakes, turtles and a bunch of other things.  I can also get airborne birds to come to me.  If I hold out a piece of food, birds will come to my hand and take it.  My sister once photographed this.  Whenever I'm able to scan in that photo, I'll show it to you along with pictures of some spiritual orbs in relation to my blog about supernatural phenomena.  Please write in with any experiences you've had with animals or spirits.

Paranormal Activity

  I saw a commercial that said that brushing alone can't get rid of all plaque so now I always brush my teeth with my wife there with me.  Speaking of commercials, I saw a headache medicine commercial that said that their product works twice as fast!  You had to read the fine print at the bottom of the screen that says "as compared to using nothing at all."  Wow!  When I have a headache it seems like in never goes away.  What's twice as fast as never?  Speaking of medicine, I took some cold medication the other day.  The label on the bottle said that it might make me drowsy and not to operate heavy machinery while on it.  Dammit, I was hungry and a refrigerator is a helluva heavy piece of machinery so I just had to starve until the medicine wore off.
  I'm finally gonna keep my promise and tell you about all the various run-ins I've had with paranormal thangs throughout my lifetime.  When I was twelve I used to see every once in a while, blue or white lights flashing in places where there was no camera or other explainable source of light.
  When I was 17, I woke up one morning an was lying in bed.  Suddenly, I felt a pressure on my chest.  It let up and then came back three times.  During the last bout of chest pressure I heard a laughter at the side of my bed and a voice said, "Pathetic human."  In old cultures, the chest pressure phenomenon was believed to be a demon sitting on your chest.  I've heard from other sources that you experience that sensation when your spirit is coming back into your body from astrally projecting.  I believe that my spirit travels the world while I sleep.  I think that's why I dream so vividly and lucidly.
  In my college years I continued to see those bursts of light like when I was a child.  Occasionally they were accompanied by sound like snapping or clapping.  One night I was hanging out with four other college buddies and three of them saw the light too.  One said it looked like an orange orb appeared in the middle of the room and traveled a few feet before disappearing.
  One morning, I was awakened by the sound of a bird's wings fluttering around my room.  When I looked around, there was nothing there.  Then I heard a dog walking around.  I could hear its tags clinking and hear it breathing.  Of course, there was no dog in the room.
  In that very same house, there was a spot in my bedroom that had a spooky quality.  I found it first when I was on the phone with a friend of mine.  When I walked into a certain part of the room I could hear screaming on the phone.  One voice would be crying and screaming, "No, no, no!" and another would be shouting, "Shut up!  Shut up!"  Both my friend and I could hear it.  I think it was an imprint from the past.  The entire time I lived in that house, every time I was on the phone and I went to that part of the room, I'd hear that EVP.
  Once, in a different apartment I lived in, I was sitting in the living room.  The apartment was on the second floor.  Outside my door, I heard two people walking up the stairs talking to each other.  One said, "Yeah, that guy killed himself in there."  Now I had always felt a presence in the apartment so I opened the door to ask them about it.  There was no one there.
  When I was going out with a girl, I used to spend a lot of time at her parent's house.  I always got a strong sense of a female presence in the house other than my girlfriend and her mother.  I asked her parents about it.  Her dad told me that the previous owner had actually been the great aunt of my then girlfriend.  She had died of a heart attack in that house.
  I moved in with Kayla when we were going to get married.  One night I saw a little blond girl in a white night gown.  She disappeared as I approached her.  Kayla and my step-daughter, Ariah both said they'd seen her plenty of times in that house.
  During my time on the USS Wyoming SSBN 742, I occasionally saw a woman wearing a white dress roaming the passageways.  I heard there was also the ghost of a little girl and a dog that people would see.  The little girl was the daughter of a Navy man.  While the submarine was  being built, she was visiting her father and she fell to her death.  I don't know the story of the woman or the dog.
  One house I lived in here in Georgia had lots of strange goings on.  I was lying in bed one night and I heard what I thought was Kayla coming into the bedroom.  I kept my eyes closed because there was nothing unusual about that so far.  But then she came around the bed right next to me.  I could hear breathing and I opened my eyes, thinking she might want a kiss or to talk or something.  All I could see was a shadow standing at the side of the bed by me.  It leaned over me and I could feel its breath on my cheek as I heard it breathing.  I called out to Kayla.  She was in the living room and she came into the bedroom.  I turned a light on and the shadow disappeared.
  On a different night, I was in the bathroom with the door closed and Kayla was in the living room.  I heard a voice say, "Oh, really."  I opened the door and asked Kayla who she was talking to.  She was about to ask me the same question.  She thought it was me.  The voice had come from somewhere between us.  She also heard it clearly say, "Oh, really."
  On yet another night, I had a run-in with a ghostly canine.  We had a removable gate that we had installed on our bedroom doorway to keep the dog out of the bedroom.  One night after I had gotten up to use the bathroom, I was fumbling around in the dark trying to get back to bed.  I opened the gate and I heard little foot steps walk by me into the room, accompanied by the clinking of collar ID tags.  I closed the gate and reached down to try and grab the dog.  I touched its back.  I could feel the fur, but the dog ran away from me and around the bed.  I searched the entire room and found nothing.  When I went back out to the living room, I saw the dog curled up, sleeping where it had been the whole time.
  There are probably many more stories I'm forgetting about at the moment, but I'll recount them to you as I remember them.  Feel free to tell me your own stories of supernatural experiences.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sleep With One Eye Open

  Kayla and I just watched a movie on Netflix called Exam.  When you get to the end of the movie, you realize it's just a retelling of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with grown ups.  I mean, geez.  I sat through an hour and a half to see something I've already seen but without a chocolate waterfall?  If any of you out there saw this and have any thoughts, please share them.
  I wanted to talk to you about a phenomenon that I occasionally experience.  I don't really know what to call it so I'll just describe it to you.  I'll be asleep and dreaming but I'll be able to see the room I'm sleeping in because my eyes will be open.  I can move in my dream, but I can't see myself moving.  I can put my hand in front of my face, but not see it.  I can't change the direction that my eyes are facing.
  Usually I'll try to wake myself up by moving around a lot.  I'll be moving in my dream, but my body will remain motionless.  This is called sleep paralysis.  It's a safety mechanism so that you don't act out your dreams.  Only, in this case, I want to act out so that I can wake myself up!
  The coolest time that this happened was only about a month ago.  I was successful in waking myself up, but I was in a different position in my dream than my body actually was.  In my dream I had dragged myself off the bed and I was lying on the carpet on my stomach.  My hand was underneath me with the palm down.  I could wiggle my fingers in my dream and feel the fibers of the carpet.  When I woke up, I could feel the transition between dream and reality.  There was an instantaneous change from carpet to bed sheet because I really was still in bed.  Also, in reality, my hand was under me, but with the palm facing up.  That was the weirdest sensation ever feeling my hand go from palm down to palm up within the span of a second.  Please, if any of you out there have gone through this phenomenon before, let me know.  I'd like to believe I'm not alone on this.

The Furniture Salesman Experience

  I had an uncle once who was born with three legs.  He wanted to be a dancer, but he had three left feet.  Tragically, he got into a car accident and became a quintriplegic (Disclaimer: the preceding anecdote is a complete fabrication for entertainment purposes only!  No three-legged thespian uncles were harmed in the making of that joke.  My sincerest apologies for my insensitivity to any demographic comprised of quintriplegic ex-ballerinas).  Speaking of feet, do you think bats and chimps get Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
  Anyway, I wanted to talk about my time as a furniture salesman.  If you're a furniture salesman you might have to drag couches around and get good triceps (unless you're me.  I've got try-harder-ceps and try-again-ceps!).  You might not know what a finial is and sound like a complete dumbass.  You might have to assemble many a dining room set.  You might sell that ugly ass headboard with the horses carved into it because you talk a little girl in a cowgirl outfit into making her mom buy it for her.  You might also sell that ridiculous looking stained-glass night stand because you convince some guy that it goes well with a stained-glass lampshade as a set.  Boy, I was a mean furniture salesman!

The Cashier Experience

  You know, I think I've figured out the answer to the age-old question of what came first, the chicken or the egg?  It was probably the rooster (if the chicken even got to come at all).  I was just in the head and every stall was full.  It was like I was playing a losing hand of Poker.  They had a full house and I was hoping for a flush.  Since there are both military personnel and civilians working in this building, there's a sign in the head that says, "Do not discuss confidential information in this space."  Basically, it means 'don't talk about shit while you're taking a shit or you'll be in deep shit.'
  I wanted to talk about my time as a Petsmart cashier.  If you're a cashier, you might have someone accidentally give you a silver dollar, thinking it's a quarter.  You might acquire an entire set of those flawed Wisconsin quarters that are worth a lot on eBay.  You might have an old lady give you cans of government peaches in gratitude for helping her put her 50 pound bag of dog food in her car.  You might bump into Art Alexakis of the band, Everclear.  You might have a conversation with the actress, Mika Boorem.  You might get four 100% scores in a row from mystery shoppers.  You might have a lady tell you that "God has a plan for your life, or in your case, Buddha."  The best part is getting free training for your dog (not that it made a damn bit of difference, but I love him anyway!).
  Well, I gotta go.  Somewhere out there, there's a leg and a thigh with my name on it (get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about fried chicken!).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The ________ Experience

  Back when I was in the church I used to pray a lot.  One night I was praying out in the desert.  I started hearing foot steps all around me and rustling in the bushes.  I got up and went into my car.  When I lowered the window I could hear growls and more foot steps and I could see glowing eyes in the bushes.  A ranger jeep drove up behind me and the ranger came out.  He told me I was in the middle of the feeding grounds of a pack of eight mountain lions and it was feeding time.  Shiten me hosen!
  You know that song Mack the Knife?  There's a line that goes, "Now old Mack Heath spends just like a sailor."  Which sailor is that?  Sure as hell ain't me.  Speaking of sailors, Popeye always proudly sings, "I fights to the finish cuz I eats me spinach!"  Well, he never claims to win any fights.  I mean, technically if a dude comes and clocks me a good one and I go down like chump, didn't I fight to the finish?  I guess he was just trying to get little kids to want to eat spinach.  Then along came ET with his damn Reese's Pieces.  You know, if someone can successfully sue McDonalds for making them fat, couldn't I sue ET?  He never warned me that eating Reese's Pieces could make me fat.  I could make millions!
  That's not what I wanted to talk about.  I just had several more fun experiences to share with you:
  The Pizza Delivery Experience
When you deliver pizza, you might make big ass tips.  You might deliver to a big sweaty man who's wearing nothing at all.  You might get attacked by a large family of javelina with nothing but your pizza bag to defend yourself with.  You might deliver to a motel room in which they're shooting a porno film.  Or, best of all, you might call in a request to a radio station and dedicate a song to your wife , then call her to tell her to tune in and listen.
  The Faux Painting Experience
When you're a painter, you might fall off a ladder and have to spend hours cleaning up the mess you just made.  You might paint the house of Sharon Stone, Richard Gere or Lisa Frank.  You might get side jobs and keep all the money for yourself (selfish bastard).  You might have to climb a 30 ft. ladder or go even higher in a JLG.  You might have a drunk foreman steal a construction truck, hit a fire hydrant and drive home, where he is later arrested.  Best of all, you might learn painting techniques which you can use to paint your family's house once you get out of the Navy and settle down.
  The Teacher's Aide Experience
When you're a teacher's aide, you might have to catch snakes.  You might have to watch kids puke a lot.  You might have to open a million ketchup packets in the cafeteria.  You might have to escort a kid to the nurse's office because he has a cactus stuck on his nose.  You might have to measure and cut thousands of yards of butcher paper.  You might have to catch runaway Special Ed kids.  You definitely will smell a lot of farts.  The best part is, you know you're doing something good because the opposite of what you do would be to defile, detest and degrade.
  The Dishwasher Experience
When you are a dishwasher, you might have to clean up puke.  You might inexplicably make tips from someone you spilled hot chocolate on.  You might have customers specially request for you to be the one to mix their milkshake for them.  You might have to mop up the water every time a toilet overflows.  You might have to climb onto the roof when a stove vent gets blocked by a bird's nest.  But best of all, you might get to 86 (get rid of) returned orders....with a fork.

The Karaoke Experience

  I've  been shredding paper all day.  I think the Chinese invented paper.  Thanks a million, y'all!  I did take a break to go to the head.  Nature called and said, "Hey boy, if you value your dignity and your underpants, you'll get your scrawny little ass on a toilet pronto!"  So I did.  I prayed, "Now I sit me down to poo.  I pray the Lord to see me through.  If I die before I wipe.  That's the story of my life."
  I wanted to talk about Karaoke.  It's a very unique experience.  I think the kara in karaoke is the same as the kara in karate.  Karate is the 'way of the empty hand' and karaoke means 'empty orchestra' in Japanese.  But what do I know?  I'm about as Japanese as a ham sammich (my sincerest apologies to any Japanese ham sammiches out there).
  What I do know is that when you karaoke you might make a lot of friends.  You might get song requests.  Girls might offer you sexual favors and guys might offer to buy you drinks (or vice versa).  Bartenders might give you free drinks.  Girls might throw their lacy underthings at you.  You might end up in a threesome.  You might start to get recognized around town at restaurants, grocery stores and shopping malls.  People might want to get their picture taken with you.  Producers might approach you with musical projects.  The coolest thing, though is, you might find the love of your life.
  Throughout my life, four out of every five of my girlfriends I met at karaoke.  I already told you the story of how I met Kayla at karaoke.  One time, when we were at karaoke, a girl started dancing suggestively with me.  I turned around and walked my butt to my wife and hung out with her for the remainder of the song.  That girl got the hint and left me alone.  On the other hand, one time a guy sat in the chair next to my wife.  I grabbed another chair and dragged it loudly across the floor and placed it right between the two of them.  That guy got the hint and left us alone.  People might not naturally assume that a Caucasian chick is with an Asian dude, but she is and she's on me like white on rice.

Did You Know?

  This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about a band that you've probably never heard of.  They're called Living Sacrifice.  Now, you know I'm not religious so why do I like a Christian death metal band?  I'll tell you why.  Their music is intricate and brutal, yet melodic and beautiful.  Their soft drink of choice is Mountain Dew.  If you didn't know, that is most of what Kayla and I drink as well.  They once did a song about the perils of drugs that they dedicated to the memory of Andrew Wood, one of my favorite musicians.  He sang for both Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone and died of a heroin overdose.
  Living Sacrifice come from Little Rock, Arkansas, which means little to me, but it does mean they don't generally come around to play at places I live, which sucks.  An interesting (to me, anyway) side note is that the drummer for Living Sacrifice went on to drum for Evanescence.  When I took my teenaged daughter to see Evanescence, I got to see him drumming.  Of course, their music is like five times slower than most Living Sacrifice songs,  but I wasn't there for myself, I was there for my girl.
  I've been listening to LS since 1992 when their album, Nonexistent came out.  I think they're still together, but I haven't heard anything new from them in years.  Nonexistent is still my favorite album of theirs.  Another good album from them was the Hammering Process.  The only other Christian metal group I like is called Focal Point.  They only put out one album before they disbanded, but it's a worthy one.  To me they sound somewhere between the Deftones and Hatebreed.  Please share with me some of your musical tastes.

Monday, January 17, 2011


  Kayla and I just watched Lost Boys: The Thirst and it was so cool.  As far as trilogies go, it's up there with Star Wars (not the new shit), Back to the Future and the Evil Dead trilogy in my mind.  Lost Boys and Near Dark are some of my favorite vampire movies.
  Near Dark never had any sequels that I know of.  I could be wrong.  To me, it was just a gritty, dark film with no frills.  It didn't glamorize vampires.  These were just real people who had to kill to eat.  I don't even recall them having fangs.  I don't think there was anything about crosses, bats, garlic or any of the usual vampire shit.  It was just people like you and me who have been forced to get used to a condition which makes them have to drink human blood.
  That's the sort of feel I'd like to have with the vampires in my stories.  In the Nocent stories, since all the vampires are only half-vampires, I have the added element of how they can protect humans without killing anybody.  Of course, they can destroy the zombies because they're already dead, but there are also human followers of the Nocent who must be dealt with in a humane fashion.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Worthy Sequels

  Bologna is the best thing since sliced bread.  Everybody sing together now, "My bologna has a first name.  It's S-T-O-R-E.  My bologna has a second name.  It's B-R-A-N-D."  You know how they have Easy Cheese that you spray out of a bottle onto crackers or whatever?  My twisted Asian brain came up with the concept of Easy Bologna.  Imagine a bologna sandwich in 3 seconds flat!  I could make millions.
  What I really wanted to talk about was Lost Boys: The Tribe.  It was with hesitant trepidation (as opposed to embrazened trepidation?) that I fired up that flick on Netflix.  I tell you what, that movie pleasantly surpassed my expectations for it.  Kayla said the same thing.  The music was good, so was the story line and the acting.  You could tell that whoever made that sequel, obviously liked the original.  This wasn't just someone out to make a fast buck by capitalizing on a known franchise.  Anyway, I also have Lost Boys: The Thirst in my queue.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.
  In my experience, most sequels just don't live up to the original.  Some exceptions are the Back to the Future trilogy, Aliens, the Resident Evil sequels, Army of Darkness, Star Wars episodes V and VI, and the Nocent books (Your Honor, I object!  Insufficient evidence.  Objection sustained.).  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject of sequels.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yes and Noh

  One time I was at a book store in Tucson.  One of the TVs had a sample video game that someone was playing.  There were people in Kabuki masks as characters in the game.  I went to the counter and asked what game that was.  The clerk said it was a Kabuki video game (no shit, Sherlock).  As you may know, Kabuki is a form of Japanese theatre.  Another form of Japanese theatre is Noh, so I asked him, "Do you have any Noh games?"  He said, "Huh?"  I repeated, "Do you have any Noh games?"  He said, "What is that?"  I said, "What part of Noh do you not understand?"  Boy, I'm a mean video game shopper!
  Speaking of lost in translation, you know that scene in The Mask with Jim Carrey where Stanley Ipkis is in jail and he's trying to get his dog to retrieve the keys to his cell?  The dog mishears him and brings him a slice of cheese from a nearby sandwich.  Stanley has to correct him by saying, "Not the cheese, the keys!"  It occurs to me that people in Spain wouldn't get that joke if it was translated into Spanish.  It would be something along the lines of, "No el queso, la llaves!"  They'd be all thinking, "What kind of estupido perro is that?"  That's another of those things that occupies far too much of my mind capacity.
  I'll leave you with this story.  Once my wife and I were driving across country.  I threw on a Blind Melon CD cuz they're one of my favorite bands of all time.  She told me that the lead singer, Shannon Hoon (R.I.P.) sounded to her like the lead singer of the band, Yes.  She later put on some of their music and I have to say, she was right.  Tell me what you think.

More Food

  My wife and I really like that sandwich that Adam Sandler made in Spanglish.  On the DVD, the chef who created the sandwich tells you how to make one.  You oughtta rent it some time.
  We just got paid so we went food shopping.  I always like trying different cheeses.  I got a block of Camembert and some Creme de Saint Agur.  The former reminds me a little of Brie, but with more of a mellow flavor.  The latter reminds me of Gorgonzola except that it has a creamy texture.  I have some cream cheese with lox in it.  I spread some of that on half a bagel.  I spread the Creme de Saint Agur on the other half, put them together and ate it.  Fuck yeah, motherfucker, that's some good shit!  God damn.
  To fill myself up the rest of the way I had some rice with chili oil and soy sauce.  In Spanish, soy means 'I am' so it would be I am sauce I put on my arroz.  What the hell am I talking about?  Anyway, hello, Denmark.  I see that you're online right now reading my blog.

Green to Yellow

  I've always felt as if I don't belong to any particular group or category.  This used to make me feel isolated and lonely.  Now I see that it has given me a unique perspective.  In high school I could hang out with the Chess club, the cheerleaders, the Poetry club and whomever else I felt like getting to know better.  I was not a part of any of them, but I could relate with any of them.  There were the gang members, the bullies, the druggies, the ones who had been to jail and the ostracized underdogs who I could sit with and have lunch.
  It was a strange phenomenon that people just felt that they could open up to me.  I never betrayed their trust.  Many a "problem child" would bare their souls to me about their home life and their families.  There was a bully who picked on me for a little while.  One day at lunch, he sat down next to me.  He said, "Do lots of people pick on you the way I used to?"  He then proceeded to tell me about his parent's recent divorce and his sister's struggles with depression.
  I have also not belonged to any economic class in my heart either.  Growing up, my parents always had money so I've eaten at the best restaurants, lived in huge houses and ridden in luxury cars.  I've travelled all over the world and stayed in the fanciest hotels.  All the while, I've not felt like a part of it.  I mean, I can relate with rich people, I just don't feel rich.
  On the other hand, since I moved away from my parents, I've lived in my car, slept in construction sites, old buildings and laundry rooms of apartment complexes.  I've had a bag of cat food I found be my only source of sustenance.  There was a time when I delivered Auto Trader magazines to various gas stations around Tucson for $52 dollars a week.  At that time, my only other income was donating my plasma twice a week for $20 a pop.  That's less than $5000 a year.
  I think all this has opened my eyes to the fact that everyone is looking for the same things.  Cat food and sushi both fill the belly and provide nutrients.  Tool sheds and luxury hotels both provide shelter.  Millionaires and toothless, crack-addicted ex-cons can provide companionship and love.  Buddha, Christ and a homeless, bipolar can recycler can give you wisdom.  I have found God in death metal songs, country songs, zombie books, classic literature, B-rated slasher flicks, television shows and in my turtle's eyes.
  I'll leave you with a story.  One day, back in college, I was walking around the University of Arizona.  It was Autumn and leaves were falling.  On the sidewalk, I noticed a leaf that fell in my path.  I picked it up.  Only parts of it had faded to yellow.  Part was still green.  The patterns spelled out the letters L-O-V-E.  I knew it was a message from God.  This was in the days before camera phones and such.  I was near the dorm of a friend so I brought it to her, but by the time I walked to her place, the heat from my hand had faded the entire leaf to yellow.  I wasn't able to share the miracle with anybody.  From that I can see that God gives me love in ways that I can understand.  It is then up to me to give love to people in ways that they can understand.  This blog and my stories are my way of giving love to the world.  Where have you found love and how do you share it?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Faces and Dreams

  I have a strange ability with faces.  I can see someone in passing, say at a mall, and capture their looks in my mind.  I can then see in my head their face in different lighting, with different angles and with different facial expressions.  It's fun to just sit on a bench at a mall and do that.  It's kind of like meditation to me in that it is soothing and keeps my mind sharp and focused.
  This ability also makes me really good at spotting and identifying actors in different movies.  I can be watching a movie and would have to pause it to tell my wife that so and so was in a scene in the background in an episode of Frasier drinking coffee or some such.  Inevitably, I'd be right, at least most of the time.  You wouldn't believe how many actors from cheesy B-grade 80's splatter flicks show up in episodes of Quantum Leap.  My poor wife has to endure my little tangents when I hop on wikipedia to substantiate my suspicions.
  Another area of my life in which I have very vivid images is in my dreams.  I use every one of my senses in my dreams.  Often, I'll be eating something and I can smell it as I bring it to my lips, then feel my teeth bite off a chunk and taste it on my tongue.  I'll be hot or cold, wet or dry and feel it all.  I love looking out of windows to see all the details of the outside world within my mind.  I like to check out what time of day it is, what the weather is like and what people and objects are out there.  Are these places I've been?  Are these people I've seen, am I making them up or have I never even met them?
  One of my favorite things to do in a dream is to flip through a book or magazine.  It's especially fun if it's a magazine with pictures.  I like looking at the picture, turning the page, then turning back to see if it's the same picture or if it's changed.  I love it when it's an art book I'm looking at.  I often wonder if the paintings I'm seeing are from my memory banks or if their being spontaneously created by my imagination.  The detail in the paintings are incredible!  Sometimes I'll just study a painting for a while.  If I bring the art book close to my face, I can even smell the paper and ink!
  Recently, I had a dream where I was on the mast of a boat.  I was looking down at the water, thinking to jump in.  I wondered if I would wake up before I hit the surface or what.  I jumped in, forcing myself to keep my eyes open.  I could see the top of the water rushing up to me like a blue wall.  As my feet broke the surface, I could actually see the trail of air bubbles following the path of my feet through the water.  I felt the sudden weightlessness, temperature change and wetness.  All sound became muffled except the sound of the bubbles floating up and popping as they breached the border between liquid and atmosphere.

Music and Dreams

  I was just listening on  my mp3 player to some Leadbelly.  He's one of my favorite blues artists.  He was actually quite influential in the rock world.  Lots of people have covered "Goodnight Irene".  The Animals did a version of "House of the Rising Sun".  By the way, that song was the first song I ever attempted at karaoke.  A little too challenging for a beginner.  Nirvana did a cover of "In the Pines".  My favorite song by Huddie Ledbetter was "John Hardy".  Another one I like is "When I Was a Cowboy".
  Yesterday, Kayla and I were on itunes getting some music.  I got "Better Days" by Eddie Vedder from the Eat Pray Love soundtrack, "Let It Be Me" by the Everly Brothers, "Cherish" by the Association, "Working My Way Back To You" by the Four Seasons, "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones and "Jerry Was a Racecar Driver" by Primus.  As you can tell, I was in the mood for rock & roll.
  Last night I kept having dreams that our apartment is haunted.  I was seeing ghosts in the bathroom mirror, hearing voices from under the bed and couldn't turn a light on to save my life.  At one point, I looked at my reflection in the mirror and my irises had turned black.  Doors were closing all by themselves, objects were moving around.  It was crazy.

Touched By Death

  We just got an email yesterday from my dad in Korea.  My mother's not doing well and her time may be soon.  I don't know if any my readers out there are much for praying, but if you are, please pray for her that she can know that she's loved and be as pain-free and comfortable as possible in her time here.
  I haven't been touched by death very often in my short 34 years.  My grandparents have all died within my lifetime, but I wasn't really close to any of them.  I've known several other people who have died.  Ironically, it has been mostly animals whose deaths have affected me the most.
  I had a fish named Poly.  When he was close to the end, he would lay on his side and kinda swim around weakly.  I wanted to end his misery so I scooped him out of the tank with a net and dropped him in the toilet.  Right before I flushed, the last thing I saw was him looking straight at me.  We locked eyes and could feel love just radiating from him.  I pulled the handle and immediately broke down in tears.
  I had an animal whose name I won't mention for reasons of my own, who I had to have put down.  I'm deliberately being vague about a lot of the details.  The whole ride to the Humane Society, he was so excited.  When we got there, I had to fill out some papers.  Iwas giving him nothing but praise.  He was so happy as one of the attendants led him down the hall to the killing chamber.  That was my last picture of him.  When I got back to the car, I couldn't keep it together anymore.  I crumbled.
  Feel free to share any thoughts you have on the subject.  How have you been affected by loss?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


  When I first heard the word sublimate, I had to have it explained to me.  I don't remember who I was with.  It might have been Kayla, Becky (my sister) or my mom.  I just remember it was a female and that they made a hilarious joke.  To sublimate is to go straight from a solid to a gas without first becoming a liquid.  The female I was with said, "Like Taco Bell?  When I eat there, that stuff sublimates inside my gut."  I still think of that every time I go to Taco Bell.
  Anyway, I'd like to thank my new readers in Switzerland and Poland.  Hey Switzerland, I apologize for what I said about Swiss cheese yesterday.  You've got some good banks from what I hear, and some good Army knives too.  Hey Poland, thank you because my wife is half Polish.  Y'all got some good sausages too.
  To all my readers, in a war between zombies and vampires, who do you think would win?  Here are my thoughts on the subject:  I think about both Alien vs. Predator and Freddy vs. Jason.  The Predators are highly intelligent with spacecrafts, weapons and such.  The Aliens are more animalistic, but have their instinct and thoughtless brutality on their side.  Freddy too is highly intelligent with his dream manipulation, finger knives and wit.  Jason, on the other hand, is more animalistic, with instinct and thoughtless brutality.  I think you can see where I'm going with this.  Just plug vampires and zombies into the above equation.  These are just my thoughts.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Taco Molecules

  My mom told me that when she was pregnant with me all she wanted to eat was Taco Bell.  So I figure that makes me half Chinese, half Korean and 100% reconstituted taco molecules.  My wife likes the burrito supreme.  Oh, yeah, baby!
  I've been reading my wife's blog.  I noticed that she ends some of her blogs with questions.  That's probably a great way to invite responses from her readers.  Made me realize I never ask you people anything.  How selfish I've been!  All my shit's about me me me.  I humbly apologize to you, my readers.  I really would like to hear from you.  I'd like to know anything about you that you'd care to share with me.  I can't believe I've been so one-sided with my blog.  I am truly humbled and I hope you can forgive me.  Please let me know your thoughts about anything at all!  I'd love to hear from you.


  Cheese is a very important topic to me.  When I took a Stress Management class, they taught us how to meditate.  They said to focus on one thing.  That one thing I focused on was a slice of sharp cheddar.  I could see it, smell it, feel it as my teeth bit into it and taste it on my tongue.  How calming.
  I enjoy a wide variety of cheeses from all over the world.  I love a good smoked gouda, havarti, Muenster, Dubliner or the occasional brie.  I like to shred some Manchego onto my spaghetti.  Of course, there's the mozzarella, parmesan, nacho, cheddar, Colby, Jack and American.  I love cottage cheese.  One of my favorite might be gorgonzola, but it has to be by Stella.  Black River makes a decent gorg, but I can't stand Belgoioso.  I'm not a big fan of Swiss.  How do they put the holes in Swiss cheese anyway?
  Whenever I'm at a grocery store, I hope they'll have a free sample of cheeses for me.  One time, the lady had a platter of cheese samples and she just had to tell me that it was imported.  I replied, "Well, I guess if it was exported, it wouldn't be here."  She didn't think that was very funny.
  Speaking of samples, remember the Pepsi Challenge?  I used to have fun with those poor souls pouring the samples.  I could tell by the way the colas looked in the cup, which was which.  I'd deliberately grab the Coke first and swallow it down in one gulp.  I'd have a satisfied look on my face as I set down the empty sample cup.  Then I'd reach for the Pepsi cup, sip a little, then turn to the side and spray it out my mouth like they do in the movies.  I'd set down the mostly full Pepsi cup and declare that I preferred the first.  The poor sample pourer would then have to reveal to the surrounding crowds which one I had chosen.  Boy, I was a mean Pepsi challenge taker.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What A Week So Far!

  Yesterday, my morning started out with stomach cramps, cold sweats, diarrhea and nausea.  Then my base stickers were scraped off so I can't drive on base anymore.  This morning started with having to get a ride to PT, then finding out that I won't be working at the Provisions Warehouse any more, but at the Admin Building.  That meant biking to work in winter weather.  But the new me that I'm discovering is taking this all in stride.  All I wanted to do was get home after work, hang out with my family and write to you, my readers.
  So here I am.  Let's talk about zombies.  You know, last night here in Georgia, would have been a creepy night for zombies!  It was foggy, cold and dark out.  The fog was thick too.  With all the trees and the darkness in the forest, I could just imagine some walking stinkers staggering about.  I was walking my dog last night and thinking about zombies made all my day's troubles melt away.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What An Ordeal!

  Last April, I sent in my money to the DMV in Arizona cuz I needed to renew my registration which was to expire in May.  I waited and waited, but nothing ever came in the mail.  When I contacted them, they said they sent me new tags and a new piece of paper saying I had current registration.  It just never got to me.  They told me for $5, they'd send me a duplicate copy.  I don't want to pay more money for something that is rightfully mine.
  Since then, I've had my vehicle inspected at least four times at several different gates on this submarine base.  Every time, the MAs run my tags and see that my registration is current, no problem.  Well, today was a different story.  I got another inspection, but the MAs computer was down so they couldn't run my tags.  They scraped my base stickers off my wind shield and I had a police car escort me off the base.  I can no longer drive my car on base!
  Anyway, I still have a loving family and I was able to procure a ride to work tomorrow morning so everything's fine.  I'll just have to bite the bullet, pay the five bucks and get me my tags.  On a brighter note, my wife has discovered the therapeutic properties of blogging.  She started last night and has already published five blogs!  I hope you all enjoy her blogs as well as mine.


  I have duty today.  I'm in the color detail, which means that I lower or raise the ensign (United States flag) on my duty days.  Today we raised the flag at half-mast to honor those who lost their lives at the shooting in Tucson, Arizona.  This doesn't just hit close to home with me, this hits home.  My wife and I used to eat at the Swenson's ice cream restaurant in the very shopping center that the shootings took place.  That little girl who died had just been elected president of some club at her school.  She was the chosen representative to attend the function.  If she had had fewer votes, she might be alive today.
  When your number's up, there's nothing you can do to stop it.  On  the other hand, when your number's not up, you can go through the craziest shit and live to tell about it.  That lady was the target and she survived cuz it wasn't her time to go yet.
  One time, a bunch of my friends and I were in the deserts of Tucson and we decided to build a bonfire.  What we didn't know was that we happened to be in the middle of a popular target shooting area.  There were spent casings all around, but even worse, there were live rounds everywhere as well.  The heat from the fire was setting them off.  Everyone was scrambling around, hiding behind trees and stuff.  I just sat calmly by the fire cuz I knew, if it was my time, one of those stray bullets would hit me or an airplane might crash land into my head if the bullet missed.  If it wasn't my time, every bullet would miss me.  Some of them came pretty close.  One even hit a paper cup that was sitting right next to me, but I was unfazed.
  I seem to have a sense about those sorts of things.  I don't know if it's insight from above or what.  It's like Frankenstein's pinky.  When they were shooting the scene where the monster was supposed to chase Victor's fiance on the night of their wedding, the actress was too frightened of Boris Karloff to shoot the scene.  Between takes, she was okay, but when he was acting, he was too menacing.  He worked out a sign with her.  When the director yelled, "Action!" he would chase her, but he would wiggle his pinky to let her know that it was just him underneath all that make-up and costume.  He would not harm her.  She agreed and they were able to successfully shoot the scene.
  No matter what I've been going through in life, there has always been that pinky wiggling to tell me that there's someone who loves me who's in charge of everything.  That way I know that even if I don't understand what's going on, I can trust that it's part of a larger plan that I am blessed to be a part of.
  As much as I don't like being in the Navy, if I wasn't in the Navy, I might have been eating at that Swenson's with my wife.  Some other sailor might have been raising that flag at half-mast in honor of us.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Little More About the New Blog

  I just made a ceviche from scratch.  I took fresh cilantro, an onion, lime juice, crab meat, chilis and a little salt.  I put the cilantro and some onion into a food processor, chopped up the chilis and added this to the crab meat.  The finishing touch was the lime juice and a little salt.  Boy, that was some good stuff!
  I'm really excited about this new blog I'm doing.  I was just digging through my old writing.  I have a story I wrote in elementary school!  I think that's what I'll put in next.  That's the cool part of this new blog is that I can do several blogs a day and it will still take years to put everything out.  Whenever I can, I plan to put a little bit about the circumstances surrounding the writing of the particular piece.  If it was graded by a teacher, I might provide you with the teacher's comments (good or bad).
  After I'm done blogging, my wife and I are going to go to the historical Saint Marys to the Submarine Museum because we've heard that it's haunted.  We've already been to Orange Hall.  There's also a bar there that is reported to be haunted.  We will take pictures and record audio.  We want to capture orbs, which we believe to be spirits.  We can also hopefully get some EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon), which we believe to be spirit voices.  We've got tons of orb pictures from all over Saint Marys and Kingsland.  We also have some EVPs we recorded in our own apartment.  Some other time, I'll tell you more about all the paranormal experiences I've had throughout my life.

The Third Blog

  I'm quite excited to tell you about a third blog I'm going to start.  As I've mentioned in the past, I've been writing all my life.  I'm going to put out all of my poems, stories, comic strips, screenplays, songs and whatever else I can find.  This serves several purposes.  First and foremost, you, my readers can get a better idea of who I am through witnessing my evolution as a writer through my high school, college and current years.  Hopefully this will enrich your experience of my novels that I plan to put out.
  Secondly, it does the very same thing for me in that I can see how I've grown mentally, emotionally and spiritually through the years.  My wife says that since I'm putting everything else out there, this will be a good way to get it all out there.  I'm bearing myself fully to the world.  Unashamedly me.
  Thirdly, when I'm done putting everything out, I can print it out as a book using that Blog2Print service.  My wife brought up the last reason this is a good idea.  In case our house ever burns down, my writings will be safe in the electronic world.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chapter 7

Spoiler alert!  This blog will reveal some information that will ruin part of the mystery of a situation in the Nocent book which won't be revealed in the book until a future chapter.
  I just put out chapter 7 of the Nocent book.  I wanted to tell you a little bit about this chapter.  The last scene comes straight out of a dream I had years ago.  I was running from a killer in my dream.  I was in a house and it was dark.  There was a parrot in the living room that somehow knew wherever I would try to hide.  The most chilling part to me was when I went into a room to get away from the bird.  I figured if I could get away, then it wouldn't know where I was hiding.  I snuck into the closet and closed the door.  Even so, the bird screeched out, "He's in the closet!"  I froze and not two seconds later a pair of rough hands grabbed me and yanked me out of the closet.
  When I woke up from that dream I had to turn a light on.  I couldn't sleep so I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down what had happened.  It wasn't until years later when I developed the characters in the Nocent that I found the perfect story to interject that chilling scene.  I hope it's as scary to readers as it was for me to go through it (so to speak).
  Speaking of scenes that came from dreams, the end of chapter 5 when the door closes behind Bill, that came from a nightmare of mine as well.  Nightmares are excellent sources for frightening scenes in stories because they're already tried and true.  That's why they're called nightmares.  Like when that one KFC closed down over on the 40.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Zombie Food

  Whenever I've thought about the concept of zombie appetite, I've always had two questions: what do they gain from eating and what happens to what they've eaten?  I've never seen or read anything that tells me the answers to these seemingly important questions.  The only exceptions I can think of is Return of the Living Dead where a zombie explains that they eat to get rid of the pain of being dead.  Okay, I'll buy that.  In Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith, it is explained that consumed meat passes through the zombie's digestive system unprocessed and eventually is forced out of the anus as "zombie droppings".
  That is what I had come up with before I read the book.  It didn't make sense to me that there would be any nutrition absorbed by the zombie's body.  In the Nocent books, swallowed meat just gets lodged in the back of the throat.  Since zombies don't have to breathe, they don't choke or cough.  The food just stays in the throat until more food is ingested.  I just hadn't thought it all the way through to the excretion part like in the book I read.  That book is the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.
  As to their appetite, my zombies merely eat for the purpose of the kill.  Remember that they are possessed by the spirits of the Nocent.  The Nocent have an agenda.  They want to eradicate their enemies the Collective.  Many humans are helping the Collective so the zombies are out to kill those humans.  The Collective become vampires so that they can protect the humans.  There are also humans that are helping the Nocent.  Unfortunately, for them, the zombies will kill them too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hierarchy of Solidity

  In the Nocent books, the Collective have bodies comprised of water.  I know it's been done before, but this water moves quickly, not like the Dominion in Deep Space Nine or like the T-1000 in the Terminator movies.  Anyway, having liquid bodies has given them a unique religion.  It's called the Hierarchy of Sypraxus.  Sypraxus is the ability to change at will between the various forms of matter.  The idea started back in college when I noticed that the more solid something is, the less of it we need to survive.  We can go for weeks without food, days without water, minutes without air and no time at all without our spirit.
  I called the concept the hierarchy of solidity.  That concept sat on a shelf collecting dust for years until I came up with the Collective.  In their religion, the more faith you have, the more ethereal you can become.  The Nocent view this hierarchy the opposite way.  They see strength in solidity.  That is why they want to come to Earth to use solid humans to defeat their enemy, the Collective.
  Oddly enough, I found that many cultures around the world address the topic of solidity.  Most have something like earth, wind, water and fire as their representations of the forms of matter.  As I've meditated and contemplated these concepts, I've discovered more truths that resonate within my inner being.  It was this spiritual story that allowed my little idea of a zombie/vampire war to become an epic five-book story which is what I believe I was put on this Earth to write.  Orson Scott Card has his Ender series, JK Rowling has her Harry Potter books, George Lucas has Star Wars, George Romero has the ...of the Dead series and I have the Nocent.  I feel blessed to have found the meaning of my life.
  I love sharing this blessing with you, my readers.  This is my voyage of self-discovery.  As a matter of fact, this blog has been quite a road for me so far.  It started out as a way to tell people about my stories, but I've touched upon my love for music, food, spirituality, fried chicken, movies, books and my family life.  I struggle with issues of hatred and anger.  I used to hate everyone except my family.  Now, whenever I'm angry, I think about my readers all over the world and I find it difficult to hate people the way I used to.  I don't feel so alone and hopeless anymore.  It also helps that I have the most amazing wife in the world!
  Before I end this blog, I wanted to mention that I plan to publish both this blog and the Nocent book eventually.  This website has a Blog2Print feature which allows you to put out a hard cover or paperback version of your blog.  The Nocent book is obviously a novel, but this blog is turning out to be pretty much my autobiography.  After I have put out the entire Nocent part 2, I'll start putting out part 3, then so on and so forth with the rest of my books.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zombie Killer Food

  I really like to eat.  My wife leaves me alone when I'm in the kitchen because she knows I'll come out with a masterpiece.  Here are four of my favorite recipes that I've concocted en la cocina:
Cilantro Beef Soup
-1 lb ground beef
-1 bunch of cilantro
-1 can of beef broth
-lime juice
-white pepper
  Brown the ground beef while bringing the broth to a boil.  Put in the white pepper, cilantro and lime juice to taste.  Add the beef last since boiling meat tends to sap its moisture and make it tough to chew.  Enjoy.

Grilled Steak and Veggies
-1 eggplant
-your favorite cut of steak
-portabella mushrooms
-aluminum foil
  Tear off enough pieces of foil to have a steak for each person.  Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices.  Put a slice of eggplant onto each piece of foil.  Put whatever seasonings on the steak that you love.  Lay the meat on the eggplant, then lay a mushroom on the meat.  It'll look a bit like a hamburger.  Wrap it up in the foil and throw it on the grill.  The juices from the various ingredients will mix together creating a wonderful aroma and flavor.  When the meat is cooked to your satisfaction, take it off the grill and serve it up!

Stuffed Baby Portabellas
-mozzarella cheese
-green olives
-baby portabella mushrooms
-food processor
  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Detach the stems from the mushrooms and put them in the food processor along with the cheese, pecans, spices and olives.  The amounts of each ingredient depend on your taste.  Blend that shit up.  Lay the mushroom tops on some foil on a cookie sheet.  Spoon the blended stuff into the mushroom heads.  Pop that shit into the oven until the cheese melts and the mushrooms brown a little.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Chickety China (the Chinese Chicken)
-1 Cornish game hen
-Chinese five spices
-oil or butter
-any stuffing you desire
  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure the hen is fully thawed.  Lay the bird, breast-side-up on a baking pan or cookie sheet.  Cover the bird with melted butter or cooking oil, leaving some on the bottom of the pan so the skin won't stick.  The stuffing isn't necessary, it's just fun to experiment with.  At different times I've used Stove Top stuffing, rice, potatoes or Spam.  Oddly enough, it was the Spam that has become my favorite stuffing.  Anyway, coat the bird with Chinese Five Spice inside and out.  Lay foil on top of it, securing the foil on the edges of the pan.  Pop that thing in the oven for 1 hr and 30 mins.  Voila!  The meat falls right off the bones and the skin is crisp and flavorful!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Boring Movies

  I apologize for not blogging yesterday.  My internet was temporarily down.  I did, however have some very interesting conversations with my wife.  It all started when I was complaining about a beep on the computer that wouldn't go away.  To set this up, I must first let you know a little about our belief system (you can read for yourself Neale Donald Walsch's books).  We believe that before we come into this life, we choose the lives we're going to live.  In other words, I chose to have the computer beep at me.
  Me, being as thick as I am didn't understand why I would choose such a thing for myself.  As usual, she used examples that she knew I would understand to illustrate to me her point.  She said, "You've got to look at why the beep is here.  What can you learn about yourself?  Perhaps it's about control.  You feel as if there are things in life you can't control and this is just another thing, but it's one that's an easy target for you to take out your frustrations on."
  Did I mention I was thick?  Yeah, I still didn't understand.  Here come the examples: "Imagine in Star Wars when Luke found out that the Empire had killed his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen.  How boring of a movie would it have been if instead, the stormtroopers just stopped by for a cup of tea?  That would be like if the computer never beeped at you.  Now, imagine if Luke had simply found the bodies, then spent the rest of the movie whining about how much the Empire sucks.  Boring.  That's like complaining about the beep, but doing nothing about it.  Imagine if Luke found the bodies, but didn't care.  He just went to Toshi Station to buy some power converters.  You can't just ignore the problem."
  She told me that it is through a process of dealing with problems that you grow to a place where you can take on bigger challenges.  Problems will arise in life.  Don't just hope for them not to, don't just whine about them and don't ignore them.  Another important thing is to not let anger allow you to do something stupid that will not solve the problem.  Passion, on the other hand, will help you try to solve the problem in a calm manner.  Use passion, not anger.  Anger would not have allowed Luke to shoot straight into a hole not much larger than a womp rat.  It was calm resolve, passion for the resistance and faith in the Force that gave him the power to destroy the Death Star.
  She said that I may never figure out how to stop the beep, but that if that happens, I shouldn't allow it to drive me crazy.  To paraphrase the AA prayer, "Lord, give me the grace to deal with shit I can't do shit about, the power to fix the shit I can and the wisdom to know the difference."  God, I love that woman.